Seeing gratitude as a study

·

From Howells (2012):
“I shared with her that gratitude for everything is next to impossible for any of us to achieve. That is why we call an initiative of increased gratitude in education a practice, where we choose only one thing to practise and become better and better at that before
moving on to something else. The notion of practice implies that we are not perfect.” (p. 68)

After learning about gratitude, the idea that gratitude should come naturally is the reason why we may beat ourselves up when we realise we aren’t feeling grateful all the time. It may lead us to feeling like what’s the point because we’re not good enough.

The practice of gratitude sounds easy in theory, but it isn’t in practice (like many things), and that’s ok. I remember hearing a quote from a podcast, which I can’t remember where from, but it was something like “aim for a B+ (not an A+)”. This was said by a professional athlete who was explaining that many people quit, and that’s because they want to go from zero to hero. They see the amazing results others have achieved and they want it for themselves too, so they aim for an A+ (usually the type A personalities). But when they start struggling and don’t live up to their expectations, they are also the ones who give up quickly. Whereas aiming for a B+ is analogous to celebrating the small wins. Build a ladder, step by step.

It’s interesting why we would think that gratitude should come naturally at all. Working on ourselves to be mindful and to get to a higher state of consciousness should be a study like in any other skill we practice for.

Maybe gratitude is innate in all of us when we are born because a baby is pure, but somehow along the way in life, things happen to us and we begin to have repressed emotions. And we lose a little of our compassion and empathy for others. And maybe a meaningful life is to get back to our first self – the self when we were born before life happened.

✨ stay in the loop
Get fresh blog posts in your inbox. Perfect for friends, family, and yes, even strangers—not just my mum, my No. 1 fan!


One response to “Seeing gratitude as a study”

  1. Tash Byrne Avatar

    Hi Dahlia, your blog brings up a very interesting point. Your statement “Maybe gratitude is innate in all of us when we are born because a baby is pure, but somehow along the way in life, things happen to us and we begin to have repressed emotions. And we lose a little of our compassion and empathy for others.” I have found in my experience working with the elderly, they reflect a lot on their life, its purpose and meaning and mourn for what is lost. During this process they identify areas in their life that they are most grateful. More often than not, they talk of their childhood and the various influences that have shaped their life. Most are grateful their parents gave them manners and an understanding of give and you too shall receive. As they age, sometimes the human body can no longer give, however the heart and soul is willing. Elderly show gratitude through their smiles, clutch of your hand, a lingering cuddle as you help them with an activity. For me, I find gratitude in its purest form in moment like these, where compassion and empathy are the core of the human spirit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other recent posts